Yesterday I was helping out with our children's program at church. As the group was singing together, I found myself critiquing the song for coolness (completely forgetting that it was for the kids not for me) and I was resistant to doing the actions because I thought I would look silly. But then I made eye-contact with two little boys. They were new and we had bonded when they came into my class. I realized that they were looking at me to know what was okay and what they were supposed to do. And so I started singing and doing the actions to the song and then they started singing and doing the actions too.
Afterwards I reflected on this event and realized that it illustrates the importance of positive role models. These boys were looking for the one person they knew to show them that it was okay to participate in what was going on. What would have happened if I just sat back and crossed my arms? Would they have engaged in the group activity? I think that my leaving my comfort zone meant that these two boys were more engaged in what was happening, and maybe more open to the lesson than they would have been other wise.
I think that perhaps there is a lesson here beyond just how to lead children. That we need to realize the importance of positive role modelling and the impact that we can have on people's perceptions of Jesus. I believe that people are looking for examples of what it means to follow Jesus in real and tangible ways. They want to see that Jesus matters in everyday life. Can we do this? Can we testify to this? Or are we standing at the back of the room afraid to look silly?